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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nicholas Kristof, "Why the Naysayers Are Wrong About the Iran Deal": Is Kristof a Liar or an Idiot?

You will recall Nicholas Krisof's retweet of the message, "OBAMA Told the 2 Most Pig Like Lobbies, AIPAC & NRA, to Drop Dead in Same Month." Kristof never explained why he disseminated this anti-Semitic tweet to his admirers.

And then there was Kristof's "famous" New York Times op-ed, "In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun," which described a 1,700-mile, magical mystery tour across Iran in 2012, accompanied by his son and daughter. In a journey akin to Borat's excursion across the US, Kristof relayed profound anecdotes from his chance meetings with ordinary Iranians. Discussions with members of Iran's persecuted Baha'i minority? None. Exchanges of views with Iran's oppressed Kurds? No way. Dialogue with Iranian homosexuals (homosexuality is an offense punishable by hanging in Iran)? Nada. A visit to Evin Prison to check the well-being of political dissidents languishing in its dungeons? Nope. Not even an off-the-beaten-track side trip to witness the stoning to death of a woman accused of adultery.

Well, today Kristof is back with a New York Times op-ed entitled "Why the Naysayers Are Wrong About the Iran Deal," seeking to offer support for Obama's nuclear deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Kristof writes:

"The U.S. didn’t get all it wanted (and neither did Iran) in an imperfect compromise. True, we didn’t achieve anywhere, anytime inspections, yet the required inspections program is still among the most intrusive ever."

Oh really? It never occurred to Nick to mention that John Kerry has no idea what is written in Iran's side agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Instead of inspections, these agreements allow Iran to provide the IAEA with soil samples purportedly from the  Parchin military site, where Iran has been experimenting with triggers for nuclear weapons. Trust Iran to provide real soils? Yeah, right.

On the basis of the abovementioned trip to Iran with his children, Kristof would further have us know:

"I would guess that after the supreme leader dies, Iran will begin a process of change like that in China after Mao died."

Got it. On the basis of Kristof's "guess," the US should risk allowing Iran to build a nuclear weapons arsenal within another 15 years - much less time if the mullahs cheat, which they will. Combine that capability with an end to the prohibition on Iran's purchase or building of ICBMs within eight years and what have you got? A nuclear threat against Washington and New York.

Re unlocking "tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets and new oil revenues" which will pass to extremist groups, Kristof writes:

"True, but that will happen anyway. Remember that this agreement includes Europe, Russia and China as parties. Even if Congress rejects the agreement, sanctions will erode and Iran will get an infusion of cash."

Why will it happen "anyway" if the US maintains the sanctions regime and demands that those seeking access to the American banking system also toe the line? In fact, it wouldn't happen "anyway." On the other hand, the first invertebrate ever to occupy the Oval Office has another year and a half as president, and he has amply demonstrated that he is not capable of saying no to Khamenei.

Concerning Iranian calls for the extermination of Israel, Kristof writes:

"If I lived in Tel Aviv, would I be nervous? Sure. But I’d be even more nervous without this deal, which reduces the chance that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon in the next decade. That’s why five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel endorsed the accord. (It’s also notable that American Jews are more in favor of the agreement than the American public as a whole.)"

Kristof, however, makes a point of ignoring the fact that 78 percent of Israelis believe the nuclear deal will "endanger Israel;" 71 percent think the deal will "bring Iran closer to a military nuclear capability;" and 47 percent "support an Israeli military strike on Iran if it would be necessary to prevent the Islamic state from getting nuclear weapons." Believe me, Israelis know more than a little about what's good or bad for them, particularly when it involves their continued existence on this planet. Regarding American Jews, a new poll shows that "A plurality of American Jews now say they oppose the Iran nuclear deal, 45% to 40%–and a majority oppose the deal after they learn more about what is in it, according to a new poll."

Enough said. Is Kristof a liar or just an idiot? Decide for yourself.


  1. "I would guess that after the supreme leader dies, Iran will begin a process of change like that in China after Mao died."

    Hmmm. Does Kristof think Khomenei is still alive, with a misspelling?
    wiki: "After the death of Ruhollah Khomeini, Ali Khamenei became the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989..."

    [and Mao-China is NOT an apt metaphor for Iran's theocratic political succession.]

    Is the term not "useful idiot"?

    useful, as in, useful to transcribe WH talking points onto the NYT op-ed page.

    Pace yourself, JG.
    Going to be a long August in the USA.


  2. the powerful words antidote to Kristof (and TomF):

    Leon Wieseltier

    "The Iran Deal and the Rut of History

    Has the Obama administration’s pursuit of new beginnings blinded it to enduring enmities?"

    "...The text of the agreement states that the signatories will submit a resolution to the UN Security Council “expressing its desire to build a new relationship with Iran.” Not a relationship with a new Iran, but a new relationship with this Iran, as it is presently—that is to say, theocratically, oppressively, xenophobically, aggressively, anti-Semitically, misogynistically, homophobically—constituted. When the president speaks about the people of Iran, he reveals a bizarre refusal to recognize the character of life in a dictatorship. ..."